The U.S. Army has announced that the Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC), a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, has been awarded a contract for preliminary design review of a new engine for the Army's fleet of Black Hawk and Apache helicopters.
The two-year contract, part of the Army's Improved Turbine Engine (ITE) program, will support the design of an advanced 3,000 shaft horsepower turbine engine - ATEC's HPW3000.
The primary goal of the ITE program is to produce an affordable new engine that will dramatically improve performance over the current engine powering Black Hawk and Apache helicopters. The Army specifications require that the new engine be 50 percent more powerful, 25 percent more fuel efficient, and provide 20 percent longer engine life over the current engine, while also meeting stringent performance goals in high altitude and hot conditions at 6,000 feet and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
ATEC recently completed testing of two HPW3000 demonstrator engines, which performed very well and have already validated various program requirements, according to Craig Madden, president of ATEC.
"The HPW3000 underscores our dedication to developing an engine that will support Army Aviation superiority over potential adversaries," said Madden. "We are very confident in the engine design and in the results we've seen in testing so far. With the extensive improvements in helicopter performance it brings, the HPW3000 will mean greater mission success and safety for U.S. warfighters."
The HPW3000 features a dual-spool architecture and utilizes many of the latest gas turbine engine technologies. The engine's dual-spool architecture offers significant advantages, including optimized engine efficiency, decreased maintenance costs, extended engine life, and greater power growth capability – providing the Army with maximum flexibility as mission requirements evolve and change.
When factoring in savings from decreased fuel consumption and lowered operating and support costs, the HPW3000 is expected to offer potential annual savings of $1 billion, compared with the current engine in the Black Hawk and Apache fleets.
"The advantages of the HPW3000 design mean that U.S warfighters can have confidence that the engine will perform as intended and be capable of performing throughout a wider range of operations," said Jerry Wheeler, ATEC's vice president for programs. "The American taxpayer can be assured that we are committed to providing the safest, most affordable and capable helicopter engine to the warfighter so that they can accomplish the mission."
The Army's development schedule for the engine program calls for the service to select from competing preliminary engine designs in 2018 and then proceed with a sole engine developer.
The ATEC joint venture of Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), brings together the world-class engineering, manufacturing, and production capabilities of two industry-leading companies perfectly suited for accomplishing the goals of the Army's ITE program.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning opportunities for development and potential production of helicopter engines. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans, and availability of funding; challenges in the design, development, production, delivery, support, performance and realization of the anticipated benefits of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in filings submitted by UTC and by Honeywell to the Securities and Exchange Commission.